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Senator Howard Marklein: Legislature's budget invests in rural Wisconsin

Published by The Cap Times on June 26, 2019

By Senator Howard Marklein

The Legislature completed our work on the state budget, and I am proud to say that we invest in the people and the needs of our communities while protecting taxpayers. It is especially helpful for rural Wisconsin, and I have worked hard to make sure the rural voice was heard in this discussion. Rural Wisconsin matters.

Our budget funds the priorities of the people I serve. We put a lot of money into the things our constituents told us to fund — roads, healthcare, education and 5d110bab64211 Image 300x219more. We did not cut anything.

We increased funding for roads to nearly $1 billion by 2021, including a massive investment in local, rural roads of $156 million for towns, counties and municipalities. We dedicated $1.6 billion for health care access and increased reimbursement rates for nursing homes, personal care workers and direct care workers. We also increased funding for rural hospitals.

We included $44 million for rural broadband. The University of Wisconsin System gets more than $100 million, and $1.2 billion in capital projects. We made significant investments for water quality and funded the Dairy Innovation Hub.